Diabetes Prevention Funding

The big health-care news of the last week is, of course, the US Senate’s passage of a health-care reform bill. But you might not have heard of a provision added to the bill shortly before its passage that could, in time, significantly reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in the United States.


This provision would establish a National Diabetes Prevention Program, which would be administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to an article at Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ, the idea for this program comes from a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which evaluated an educational program for people considered to be at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. That study has already been used as the basis of a 16-week community-based pilot program. According to Dr. Richard Bergenstal, president-elect of the American Diabetes Association, the program fills an educational gap that is lacking in both Medicare and most private insurance plans. It costs around $300 per person to administer.

The program was originally proposed as a stand-alone bill called the Diabetes Prevention Act. However, in an effort to get it passed quickly, it was added at the request of Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, as an amendment to the health-reform bill adopted last week by the Senate. According to the text of the provision, the CDC would establish a system of grants for community-based prevention programs and determine who is eligible for the grants. The CDC would also train “lifestyle intervention instructors” and evaluate the success of the community programs. No specific amount of money is authorized in the provision; instead, the CDC could spend “such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014.” To read the provision, you can search for “diabetes prevention” within the text of the amendment package added to the Senate’s health-care reform bill.

Do you think there is a need to establish local diabetes prevention programs on a large scale? Would you, or someone you know, be interested in enrolling in such a program? Is it a good idea for the CDC to create these programs, or can you think of a better way for them to be developed? Should this provision have been added to the larger health-care reform bill, or should it have been introduced on its own? Leave a comment below!

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  • Mary H

    I took a class right after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It was the best thing I could have done. I gained a lot of helpful information.

  • Diane Rheaume

    I think it would be just another program where vast amounts of money will get lost in the shuffle and will not provide the services that sound all well and good in writing. All people need to know is to be ‘checked’ by their physican for diabetes and then go online to learn all they need to know! If they really want to know and deal with their diabetes.

  • John Eddy

    This whole diabetic scam is for pharmaceutical companies and physicians to make money. The ADA supports all this as doing something called prevention. As Diana said people could gain knowledge on the internet. Also where is the ADA in STEM CELL research. This could be the cure but to much money would be lost to support the above mentioned organizations. Some Type one and two is genetic and prevention is not a option. The FDA could do more in restriction of sugars in processed foods and do more to cut fats in fast foods.

  • Harry…………………….

    I’ve had a hard time trying to find a good CDE. Without Diabetes Self Management I still would not have a clue as how to control my diabetes.

  • Judy K

    In response to Diane R’s comments…You obviously live in LaLa Land. Going online to “learn all they need to know”, is a bunch of bunk. Every government program ever conceived has it’s good and bad points. There will always be someone trying to take advance of government and nongovernmental programs, those people are called criminals. People with diabetes must have instruction that is customized to their learning and cognitive abilities. There is also an enormous emotional component associated any chronic disease process and helping people overcome depression in order to manage their disease is imperative. Taking advantage of trained professionals (certified diabetes educators for one). Professionals that specialize in diabetes management is the one and only way to go whenever you want the best results.

  • David A.

    Why is it either / or? We need all the help we can get. And all help comes with a price!

  • Mark Lynskey

    Our soceity should be concerned about its obesity and diabetes, however, I don’t think the government can manage peoples lack of proper diet and exercise.
    A paramount concern for any diabetic is being proactive. That entails a multitude of things: 1) proper diet, 2) exercise, 3)education, 4) managing your diabetes with the aforementioned rather than just relying on drugs and your doctor.
    Our government and the programs they have instituted are almost all mismanaged and inefficient. For instance Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac legislation leading to the housing crisis. The US Post Office. Amtrak. Cash for Clunkers. Acorn. Social Security. FEMA & the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The list goes on and on.
    Even if the government could by chance implement a decent program, could they cut down corporate America in the form of fast food and get our populace to change their eating habits. Highly unlikely! A simple internet search will now reveal that we (the United States), is the fattest nation on the planet.
    What if insurance companies- or even our government told obese people/diabetics, that unless they lost XXX pounds and exercised they would not pay for their medication or treatment??
    Some personal responsibility would go a long way.
    Finally, the CDC currently cannot manage flu vaccines so what hope should we place in this agency managing diabetes??

  • Donna C

    This is just another way to waste tax dollars. The bill should not have been introduced at all.

  • mimi rufrano

    I would love to be a part of a prevention group.
    I have diabetes 2 for 2 yrs & its extremely
    frustrating when doctors tell u what u have
    but can’t seem to tell u what you’re supposed
    to eat. I’ve spent 2yrs trying to figure it out on my own. This is why people die, not enough
    info is given to us early on. mimi rufrano

  • Joy Riingland

    cornerstones of health include diet/exercise/education/observation&reaction
    these are rewarding challenges!

  • SLB

    I applaud Mr. Lugar and Mr. Franken in their efforts to prevent diabetes, the community programs are already being utilized. But there is a problem: as a certified diabetes educator (CDE), it is frustrating not to be able to bill Medicare directly. The American Association of Diabetes Educators and the general membership would appreciate support for H.R. 2425 “The Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT)Act of 2009” (budget neutral) and its companion bill S. 3211 “The Diabetes Self-Managment Training Act of 2010”. The CDE was excluded in the 1997 Budget Bill and as DSMT is our expertise, it behooves the community for educators to be able to assist private physician offices with the ability to bill Medicare. There is no other method of reimbursement available for the CDE.

  • Barbara Smith

    As a diabetes educator, I know that there will be a HUGH increase in the number of people with diabetes. One in three children born today is expected to get diabetes. Diabetes is a very expensive disease to treat. Prevention is alot cheaper. We need to utilize every resource to get the word out. This program is a very important start, but why not start including it in the health curriculum in schools? We need more education on good nutrition and more physical education in our schools also. In an effort to save money, those programs have been cut back and now the money will be spent on obesity and diabetes. Not cost effective in the long run!!!!

  • Lisa Thorp

    I am interested in starting a Diabetes Program at our facility. Can anyone give me any info on a possible grant to help out with start up costs.

  • John Andersen

    I always find the comments from those living in highly developed countries interesting and in many ways self serving.
    Diabetes South Africa KwaZulu Natal operates in an area where we have 1.2 million diabetics most of whom have received no form of health education an have access to only the most basic medical care as a result we have more dying of diabetes related complications than HIV Aids. The problem is further compounded by those who have been on ARV’s for two years or more a very likely to become insulin dependent.

    So instead of complaining about your relatively minor problems spare a thought for the 6.5 million in South Africans who have only a single NGO as mentioned trying under enormous financial stress to educate those with diabetes on lifestyle changes and how to care for themselves We are entirely self funded and I often wish that we could access programmes such as this.

    If you want to learn more about us contact me

    John Andersen
    Diabetes South Africa – Durban

  • Valerie

    This program gives local communities money to fund diabetes classes focused on lifestyle changes. Classes run for 16 weeks with follow-up up to a year, and encourages group support. People diagnosed with diabetes face huge hurdles and the medical system is not equipped to address the day-to-day issues people face trying to manage a chronic disease. The classes give everyone a solid foundation of information and encourages relatively small changes in weight loss and exercise, but they’re enough to help folks feel better, and that, along with group support, gets momentum going for lasting changes to be made.
    I have Type 1 diabetes-I blog at notadiabetic.wordpress.com–and I plan to take the CDC training and become a Diabetes Life Coach. I live in Franklin county Massachusetts, and have been offering cooking and mindful eating workshops at the local YMCA, which has been running an excellent diabetes care program on a shoestring budget. I hope my training and the integration of their present program with the CDC program will bring some much-needed funding to an area of the state that sorely needs this kind of service.